The Breaking Point (Chapter 4, page 1 of 4)


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Chapter 4

David did not sleep well that night. He had not had his golf after
all, for the Homer baby had sent out his advance notice early in the
afternoon, and had himself arrived on Sunday evening, at the hour when
Minnie was winding her clock and preparing to retire early for the
Monday washing, and the Sayre butler was announcing dinner. Dick had
come in at ten o'clock weary and triumphant, to announce that Richard
Livingstone Homer, sex male, color white, weight nine pounds, had been
safely delivered into this vale of tears.

David lay in the great walnut bed which had been his mother's, and read
his prayer book by the light of his evening lamp. He read the Evening
Prayer and the Litany, and then at last he resorted to the thirty-nine
articles, which usually had a soporific effect on him. But it was no
good.

He got up and took to pacing his room, a portly, solid old figure in
striped pajamas and the pair of knitted bedroom slippers which were
always Mrs. Morgan's Christmas offering. "To Doctor David, with love and
a merry Xmas, from Angeline Morgan."

At last he got his keys from his trousers pocket and padded softly down
the stairs and into his office, where he drew the shade and turned on
the lights. Around him was the accumulated professional impedimenta of
many years; the old-fashioned surgical chair; the corner closet which
had been designed for china, and which held his instruments; the
bookcase; his framed diplomas on the wall, their signatures faded, their
seals a little dingy; his desk, from which Dick had removed the old
ledger which had held those erratic records from which, when he needed
money, he had been wont--and reluctant--to make out his bills.

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